Let me first of all congratulate you on your appointment as Chair of this Main Committee II. I would also like to assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation.
Italy aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union, and would like to add some remarks in a national capacity.
Italy remains fully committed to effective multilateral action against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Despite the efforts made, there are still major challenges to address: the existence of proliferation programmes and networks, the difficulty of securing sensitive materials, and the risk that terrorists might get their hands on them.
The IAEA’s system of safeguards is a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and plays an indispensable role in the implementation of the NPT. Italy supports the strengthening of the IAEA safeguards system, including universal adherence to comprehensive agreements and additional protocols, as well as the development of the State-level Concept.
Furthermore, we value the nuclear-weapon free zones as an important instrument in ensuring peace and security. In this vein, we fully support the goal of convening the Conference on the establishment of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East, as decided in the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
While commending the tireless efforts of the Facilitator and the co-conveners, we regret that it has not been possible so far to convene such a Conference, to be attended by all the States of the Region,
We are convinced that all concerned Parties should capitalize on the work carried out so far and show the political will enabling all of them to go the “extra mile” leading to the objective of convening the Conference. This is in their interest and in the interest of global peace and security, especially in the current phase, when the Middle East is unfortunately undergoing a new wave of instability and turmoil. Italy therefore calls on all the States of the Region to redouble their efforts so as to engage urgently and proactively in the process, and is ready to consider proposals that may improve dialogue and mutual understanding among all the states of the region. The goal of convening the Conference on the Free Zone should be confirmed at the end of this Review Conference.
Italy welcomes the joint statement delivered by the P5+1 and Iran on the key elements of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Looking forward to its finalization, we sincerely hope that it will allow a lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
Finally, with reference to the remarks made by some delegations concerning NATO nuclear basing arrangements, I would like to reiterate – as already underlined by other delegations and ours – that these arrangements were already in place when the NPT entered into force in 1970. They were made clear to the NPT negotiating delegations and were made public. The abovementioned arrangements are fully compatible with the NPT obligations of NATO Allies.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.